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Interview Interview with Kevin Saunders and Colin McComb at PC Invasion


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Staff Member
Jan 28, 2011
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Tags: Colin McComb; InXile Entertainment; Kevin Saunders; Torment: Tides of Numenera

It's been a hectic week for RPGs, but despite that, Torment: Tides of Numenera leads Kevin Saunders and Colin McComb have found the time do a 45 minute audio interview with a site called PC Invasion. It's actually pretty good - the interviewer clearly has experience with Planescape: Torment, and he manages to coax out some new details from the two. There's also a partial transcript/highlight summary, of which I'll quote a portion:

PC Invasion: What are the similarities and differences between the settings Planescape and Numenera?

Colin McComb: They’re both incredibly imaginative and extraordinarily cool. Neither of them are about killing the monster and taking its treasure; they’re both about trying to understand your place in the world as you comprehend it at that point.

The main difference is that Planescape is built more around belief, and wisdom, and the exploration for answers regarding the soul; whereas Numenera is more around exploring the world around us as it is. They both have room for philosophical exploration but one of them is more about doing and the other one is more about contemplating.

PCI: How does the design approach to the title compare to Planescape: Torment?

CM: The experience we’re going for with our Torment is less of the everything-is-rusty-and-falling-apart kind of thing; and we’re going more for a “check this out, isn’t this super cool bright and colourful?” kind of thing. We don’t want to solely do the dark, grim, crushing experience that a lot of Planescape was, but at the same time we also want to convey the sense of incredible age.

While our colours are going to be bright and evocative for many of our areas, we’re also targeting to develop the same sort of continuity of experience that Planescapehad; in that we want to have incredibly weird and varied stuff that people will go “holy crap! I never would’ve imagined that.”

Kevin Saunders: The content is fairly dark a lot of the time, in general. But when you have the combination of the strangeness of the world, the technology, and people living at roughly a medieval level of their own native technology, there’s a lot of grim things that can occur and we explore them.

In terms of the gameplay, we’ve probably gone for even more of a literary approach than Planescape was.

CM: We want our players to be active participants in this game, and thinking about it, and figuring out what it is that they’re pulling away from the game, and building in little verbal puzzles as well.

Not puzzles in the sense of “you need to solve this” but in the sense of “there’s a greater mystery behind this” that someone who’s playing casually might miss, but someone who’s playing carefully will say, “hey wow! I figured that out.”
The interview also reveals that, contrary to prior impressions, a Steam Early Access release for Torment has not been ruled out yet, though if it does come, it will only be after the Alpha Systems Test. I hope that's not far off.


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Sep 10, 2010
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I have doubts whether early access would be a good thing for you this game, and if they go that route I will need to bury myself under a rock to avoid spoilers.

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